Lapid calls to exact price from Palestinians for UN ‘occupation’ vote

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel over Ukraine voting against Israel despite asking Israel for aid.

 Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is seen at the memorial service for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, on November 6, 2022. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is seen at the memorial service for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, on November 6, 2022.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Israel is preparing a security and diplomatic response to the Palestinians for their UN resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to consider the illegality of Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Sunday.

Lapid instructed the government to prepare a “security and diplomatic toolbox” to respond.

“The way to resolve the conflict does not pass through the halls of the UN or other international bodies, and the Palestinians’ move at the UN will have consequences,” the prime minister warned.

“The way to resolve the conflict does not pass through the halls of the UN or other international bodies, and the Palestinians’ move at the UN will have consequences.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid

The UN General Assembly Fourth Committee voted 98-17 on Friday to ask the ICJ to consider whether the IDF’s ongoing presence in Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Golan can be considered de-facto annexation after 56 years. The resolution, officially proposed by Nicaragua because “Palestine” is a UN observer, questions the status of Jerusalem, ignoring Jewish ties to its holiest site, the Temple Mount, and referring to it as al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). The resolution must be approved in another, full UN General Assembly vote before it goes to The Hague.

 Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Ukraine supports anti-Israel UN vote while still asking Israel for military aid

Ukraine was among the countries that supported the ICJ referral while continuing to ask Israel for military aid in public as well as diplomatic channels.

The Foreign Ministry planned to summon Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk for a reprimand. 

A diplomatic source in Jerusalem said their issue is less with Kyiv’s requests for missile defense systems and more with the lack of reciprocity when Israel has voted against Russia and in favor of Ukraine in every vote since the war began.

Many European countries abstained including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia, Lichtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Israel, the US, Canada and Australia were among the nations who opposed the ICJ referral, as well as Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Liberia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau.

In recent weeks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas not to put the resolution to a vote and lobbied like-minded countries to oppose it.

An ICJ ruling is non-binding but would help codify into international law the Palestinian insistence that all that pre-1967 territory should be within the final boundaries of its future state.

This is the second such ICJ referral. In 2004, the court issued an advisory opinion against Israel’s security barrier, explaining that its construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank was illegal.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.